How to limit spending during a project

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I think it would be correct to say that our expectations and the actual results don’t necessarily come hand in hand, more often then not they are quite apart. The notion of always getting what we expect is flawed in many ways, so we need to take essential steps to reduce the gap between the two to succeed. In this case, we will of course be talking about your renovations project, building a new house from scratch or extending your property any which way. Here are a few simple ways to limit your exposure to overspending:

  1. Have a clear vision – it’s imperative to know what you are after, where are you prepared to compromise in terms of finishes and what should your end result look like
  2. Make important decisions early on – if you leave difficult stuff for later, it’s likely that someone may take advantage of the situation and charge you more than what you’d get if you enquired sooner
  3. Stay realistic and within your budget – if you have a set budget, don’t go shopping in a luxury store or buy overpriced accessories, you can achieve a fabulous look by making smart decisions such as purchasing things that look good but cost much less
  4. Bill of quantities and comprehensive scope of works is a must – if you don’t make the summary of works crystal clear, you are running the risk to pay much more than what you expected, anything not listed will be assumed as an extra or variation to contract
  5. Breakdown all costs – this is something for your quantity surveyor to provide, accurate numbers will guarantee minimal uplift
  6. Provisional sums to be replaced with fixed sums – don’t stuff the quote with thousands of pounds of PC sums as they will eventually come back to haunt you, the least you can do is enquire with 3-4 suppliers beforehand to get an idea of future expenditure
  7. Choose a suitable contract – a fixed cost contract can potentially save you time, money and unnecessary grief as there will be no grounds for variations or extras, however the overall cost will be higher. Otherwise, follow the above steps 1-7 if you decide with a standard JCT or RIBA contract

No matter how small or big your project is, it makes sense to be prepared and know your essentials.

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